British actress Alma Taylor in 1915

Women began to “bob” their hair in the 1910s, a trend often associated with the 1920s.  The trend was considered shocking to some and took years to catch on.

This photo shows British actress Alma Taylor in 1915.

Photo Source:  Public domain. Photographer unknown, but he worked for Cecil Hepworth’s UK film company.

Fashion print from McCall's Magazine, circa 1916

When the 1910s began, styles were very similar to those of the previous decade. Clothing, however, was beginning to show the shape of the female body, with the S-shape curve falling out of fashion.

Corsets became easier to move in and were used to support the body, not reshape it.

Hats were large and decorative and made a definite statement.

The hobble skirt, a cousin of today’s maxi skirt, was a popular fashion choice as was the lampshade shirt.  The hobble skirt got its name because it was very narrow at the ankle, forcing women to hobble to get from place to place.  The lampshade skirt had asymmetrical draping.

Photo Source:  Public domain.

Doris G. M. Colquholn on her wedding day, 1911

At the beginning of the Edwardian era, wedding fashion was transitioning from the 1890s.  Wedding dresses had puffy sleeves and high, stiff necklines.  The wedding party often wore large hats.

The woman’s suit was popular during the era, and it also appeared in wedding fashion.  Not everyone could afford to purchase a dress that would be worn only once.  A suit or a special-occasion dress could be worn again, stretching the bride’s clothing budget.

Empire-waist dresses made a comeback about 100 years after they first debuted, but unlike other special occasional dresses of the era, wedding dresses still maintained high necklines and long, tight sleeves.

Veils were made of lace and supported by tiaras, ringlets of flowers or mob caps.

Bridesmaids often wore pastel shades, but in earlier decades wore white like the bride.

Female members of the bridal party accessorized with jewelry.

WWI is the traditional end of the Edwardian era.  The war changed not only wedding fashion but courtship and marriage.

Photo Source:  Doris G. M. Colquholn on her wedding day, 1911.  Public domain.  Item held by John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland, Australia.

Housedresses in Woman's Home Companion, 1919

Thanks to the Great War, women no longer had time to devote to fashion, and trends like large hats and hobble skirts became impractical.

Women required clothing that reflected the reality of their new roles.

Among the changes:

  • Women doing war work, such as manufacturing and mining, began wearing trousers.
  • Skirt waistlines sat at the natural waist.
  • Skirts became fuller to allow free movement.
  • Hemlines shorted to about six inches above the ankle.
  • Darker times meant dark colors were preferred.
  • Costume jewelry was introduced as a substitute for real jewels.
  • Hats became smaller, and women’s hairstyles grew shorter.
  • The V neck replaced high necklines.

Photo Source:  Public domain.